Donkeys Play Musical Feed Buckets

As kids we used to play “Musical Chairs” and when the music stopped we’d scramble for a seat and one person was always stuck without a place to sit down. Progressively, a chair would be removed until only one person was seated. Brutal if you were a sensitive child…
Donkeys, on the other hand, would not take that type of game “sitting down.” Therefore, we try to spread out the troughs and buckets to minimize the fighting at feeding time. These animals love ritual and social order, so the order of feeding is pretty much established from most dominant to least dominant. 
Here, the donkeys start to crowd in to the mule’s trough as usual. They know very well that trough is not for them, yet they try to pilfer some of the mule’s food before he comes charging up to snort at them or otherwise push them out of the way. I reckon the donkeys consider it a badge of honor to steal food from the mule before they are summarily run off! And the mule kind of goads them into it by hanging back a little as they do their pilfering. He too knows it’s his trough and I guess he delights in running them off. 
Once the mule establishes his eating priority the donkeys crowd the first, then the second and finally the third bucket ritualistically. This time, Zeus and his son Kharma pair-off and share the last bucket. Sometimes Jules (the dark brown one) will run back and forth jamming his head into each bucket to assert his dominance amongst the other donkeys. Herschel (the light brown one) is on the low end of the pecking order so sometimes Jules will hog two buckets and leave Herschel wanting. This time; however, Herschel is fortunate enough to hang on to his own bucket…

Share this post with your friends